Vancouver Weekender: October 14th through 16th, 2011

We think a shortened work-week translates to a notable reason to celebrate the arrival of the weekend. Now that you’ve overcome the turkey-coma and onslaught of family and relatives, we bet you’re looking for something a little different to satisfy your appetite. This weekend, Vancouver has plenty to offer (and it’s looking like the weather is clearing up to compliment that).

Slip out of the office this Friday and slide on over to the YEW Restaurant + Bar for post-work libations complimented by their fresh-from-the-sea RAW bar menu, perfect for celebrating happy hour in style. Tuck into delicious tastes inspired by YEW’s new Executive Chef, Ned Bell, who pays homage to Vancouver’s coastal bounty. This is enhanced by a noteworthy wine and cocktail selection that’s guaranteed to keep the conversation flowing.

Not feeling up to mixing with hordes of brokers (who’ve likely been ensconced at the bar since markets close)? We suggest you dial things up a bit by heading over to 209 – 6th Ave East where you’ll find a notable favourite: The Whip Restaurant Gallery. Specializing in microbrew beers by the bottle, on tap and in small casks, The Whip is a longstanding favourite among locals who love the no-frills, cozy atmosphere. A unique take on classic pub-grub is complimented by a tight wine list and inventive cocktail offerings certain to please. Note this: as part of their rotation of local artists, this Sunday features a reception from 7 to 10pm in celebration of October works.

Saturday morning, we suggest you brave the current forecast that calls for scattered showers and duck out to take in one of the season’s final Farmers Markets as part of Vancouver’s Fall Harvest Festival. You’ll have several locations to choose from: head over to picturesque Trout Lake (North Lot of John Hendry Park) and peruse plenty of fresh produce courtesy of local growers, or check out the West End Farmers Market (hosting its annual Pie Contest this weekend). Let us know whose ‘inner Martha’ takes a bite out of the competition…

After you’ve stocked up on fall fixings worthy of a feast, we think you should continue the journey out of town to check out a quintessential seasonal treat. Take advantage of a sun-filled Saturday and head out to Abbotsford to check out the Maan Farms famous Corn Maze. Bring a flashlight if you go closer to dusk as they let thrill-seekers scramble through a bit later (might as well get prepped for Halloween, right?) Not up for the dusty puzzle-solving task? Pick up a pumpkin instead or visit their well-stocked marketplace before bidding farewell to farm-town fun in favour of a chilled out night back in the city.

After a laid-back dinner a la casa, we suggest you head out to the Anza Club and check out the return of The Never Say Gaga Inception – back for another satirical, musically fuelled take on celebrity pop-culture. Note this: though the Anza Club is members-only, a $10 fee paid at the door is all it takes to gain access to this unique artistic outlet (that has a fully-stocked bar).

Wake up to a lazy Sunday and enjoy brunch at any one of these notable Main Street locales: The Wallflower Modern Diner located at 2420 Main Street caters to all diners’ dietary desires, or perhaps you’re after a more hipster-style haunt? Well, the eclectic fixings of The Rumpus Room has got that covered. Who doesn’t want to try their hand at Jenga while sipping fresh brewed coffee? Looking for an authentic diner-style place to chow down? You’ll find it at Deacon’s Corner (101 Main Street), the perfect spot to load up on comfort cuisine before checking out Chinatown and Gastown’s burgeoning boutiques.

Next up, venture on over to the Museum of Vancouver located at 1100 Chestnut Street. Escape the rain and get cultured at the latest exhibit “Neon Vancouver | Ugly Vancouver” that explores the glamour behind Vancouver’s celebrated neon lights and how this has shaped the city for decades (garnering acclaim and criticism).

After this action-packed weekend, we doubt you’re feeling all that interested in the kitchen. Head over to Cafeteria and indulge in the return of their special Game and Wild Mushroom Festival menu (running for a limited time). Sink your teeth into savoury crispy boar sausage, grilled lemongrass game hen, osso buco, as well as spinach and wild mushroom risotto. Find them at 2702 Main Street at 11th Avenue. We think this is the perfect way to wrap up a laid-back weekend indeed.